"We need people coming into the unit and feeling they're achieving something when they leave the unit."
I started my career as a technician for 19 years, and then I did a work-based masters degree that allowed me to go above the glass ceiling on the technical scale and I then became an experimental officer.
I think once you are off the technical scale and you are more on the academic research scales then I think it's essential that you have publications. You're not going to progress otherwise as this is an academic institution and that's how they and/or you are measured.
We were the Department of Metallurgy, and we just dealt with metallurgists and maybe a few ceramicists. Gradually our remit has expanded. So now our customer base - the people that use the unit - come from across the university not just the physical sciences but also some of the biological sciences as well. So very much interdisciplinary.